R (Kenneally) v Snaresbrook Crown Court [2001] EWHC 968 (Admin)

The hospital and restriction orders made under s51 were quashed (ultra vires).


Mentioned in R (Exolum Pipeline System Ltd) v Crown Court at Great Grimsby [2023] EWHC 2811 (Admin)B:

24. In Kenneally in November 2001 the judicial review court quashed a hospital order made by the Snaresbrook crown court pursuant to s.51(5) of the Mental Health Act 1983. This was (by majority 2-1) a matter relating to trial on indictment. So far as relevant, a statutory precondition to the exercise of the power was whether "it appears to the court… that it is… inappropriate to bring the detainee before the court" (see §3). The crown court judge had misinterpreted "inappropriate" as including 'inappropriateness to stand trial'. That error attracted the judicial review jurisdiction as a "misdirection" of sufficient "gravity" and sufficiently "fundamental" to amount to a "jurisdictional" error (§§38, 40, 43, 50). Pill LJ said that he expected the scope of the Harrow (Maidstone) jurisdiction to be the subject of further consideration in future cases (§40). The Court did not rule on Treasury Counsel's submissions that an unreasonable decision – whether relating to a statutory precondition or otherwise – would not attract judicial review (1173F).

25. I think what Kenneally decided was this. A crown court decision, albeit in a matter relating to trial on indictment, is susceptible to quashing on judicial review where the crown court's decision that a statutory precondition was satisfied is flawed by misdirection in law.

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